The cultivar Watson is a variety of red raspberry that is trademarked as Ruby by Cornell University (Cornell Research Foundation). It has larger fruit, is more resistant to disease, and has an early peak production than the average industry competitor cultivar known as Heritage. Would this classify as a plant patent or a utility patent? The question is: What type of IP protection does this product have? https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/5156 (here is a link to Cornell website information on the raspberry). Thanks so much in advance!!


You can use Google Patents to search for patents. In this case I search with the terms "raspberry" and "cultivar" as search terms. I then refined the search by typing "Cornell" into the Assignee field which popped up with "Cornell Res Foundation Inc". I then limited the date range with 1960-01-01 to 1988-12-31 since the cited publication was in 1988. I ended up with this search result. There are two US Plant Patents: USPP5404 and USPP5405.

This is my first experience with US Plant patents. This page on the USPTO website provides some background. At least now, plant patents like utility patents expire 20 years from their filing date. Even if these patents, being issued in 1985, used the old 17 year from grant date expiration rules they would now be expired and thus no longer provide IP protection. I cannot comment as to other forms of IP which are beyond my expertise and off topic for this site.

  • Thank you, this is exactly the response I was searching for. Have a wonderful day! @EricShain
    – Rebecca
    Apr 8 '18 at 19:05

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